Today is the feast of St Francis of Assisi. Eight years ago in February I lost a baby who we named Francis and who, had I been able to carry to term, would have been born in September of that year. This is the 8th celebration of a nameday feast for a child I never got to hold but who I look forward to one day seeing in heaven.
I haven’t cried much over Francis. I got most of my crying done in the first weeks after the miscarriage and mostly I think about our lost baby with a calm heart. But last night we noted the day and this morning Ben asked me, “Who is Francis?” and once again I told the story that I know I’ve told him many times before:
“Francis is the child who was growing inside of me after Bella was born and who died before he or she was born.”
Ben replied that surely Francis is in heaven with Jesus.
And that was that. Until suddenly when we were praying the Creed at Mass today and I spoke the words, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead” and suddenly the floodgates opened and the tears streamed down my face on and off for the rest of Mass.
I look forward to the resurrection of the dead.
When that little tiny one I never got to hold or see will, God willing, be reunited with the rest of us, where we will finally see each other face to face in our new glorious bodies.
I look forward not backward. I live in hope and joy, sure that someday we will finally be together.
Today I thank St Francis on this his feast, thank him for the gift of tears, knowing that today I weep but someday I will laugh.